I've been thinking about the rhythm of life quite a bit the last few days. Mostly because I've had some enforced 'down time' since I just spent the last seven days in bed with illness. As I got more and more frustrated by my inability to just get over being sick, I realized that even though I was laying in bed I wasn't 'resting'.
Steve's brother and his wife are here for a visit. This morning we were talking about how different my sister-in-law's life as a young child in this part of the world was, particularly in how they got from place to place. When they would go back and forth to New Zealand they got on a boat. They had weeks of 'down time' where they got to enjoy themselves as a family and just have fun on the ship. There were lots of activities for children on board too so her parents got to rest as well.
While they obviously had other things that were much harder than the way we get to live now, they lived life at a different pace. Perhaps a more healthy one. Today you say your 'goodbyes' in one country and before you even have time to ponder the change you've landed in another where completely different sights, sounds, and smells assault your senses. You instantly expect yourself to engage with the new place when your mind still haven't quite left the old.
I'm the sort of person who looks forward to 'down' times. I like to do fun, restful things and spend quality time with those I love. Yet each break I get, it takes me at least part of the break to wind down enough to truly find a place of rest. Every time I reach that place I vow to myself to keep that going, to take the time to find that place of peace every day. I know that I will handle all of my life better if I do so. But then 'busyness' creeps back in. Wonder if I'll ever learn?
I just read this verse from an email list that I'm on:
“Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
~Psalm 90:10, 12
Things like children growing up and leaving home drive this home! At my current age this may sound cliche since it's a common 'mid-life' reflection (!), but while I want to work hard and do my best in my day to day life I'm caring less and less about what I actually produce and more about HOW I live. How significant the things I spend my time doing are. What kind of relationships I have with those around me. What I instill in my kids. And most of all----how I'm relating to Him.